The New York Academy of Medicine, a neo-Romanesque building by York and Sawyer, was constructed in 1925-1926, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, as well as a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The building provided a new home for the rapidly growing New York Academy of Medicine, which was founded in 1847 to advance medical science and promote health in New York City. The Academy also gathered a medical library, one of the largest in the city and open to the general public since 1878.
The Academy's building is an Art Deco interpretation of the Romanesque. The main portion of the building on 5th Avenue is six stories faced in limestone and sandstone, with the facade enlivened by Latin inscriptions on health and medicine, and the figures of Aesculapius and Hygeia carved in the space above the door, flanked by regal lions. The interior features fanciful figures of plants and animals central to medicine, as well as a Renaissance tapestry. The original building contains offices and meeting spaces, including a 550-seat auditorium and two dramatic library reading rooms-now public event spaces overlooking Central Park-as well as nine floors of stacks for the Library. A rare book reading room and additional offices were part of a 1933 renovation.
Visitors during OHNY Weekend will have access to the first three floors of the Academy, including the Lobby and auditorium (Hosack Hall); the second floor, which opens out to the Balcony in Hosack Hall; and the third floor, which contains dramatic rooms, formerly reading rooms for the library, overlooking Central Park, and now empty and used for events. The first and third floors also have small exhibits of materials from the Library collections.
Image Credit: Tommy Agriodimas